Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where We're At - A Most Awesome Rant......,

What Kunstler said; The US economy is crumbling because the way we conduct the activities of daily life is insane relative to our circumstances. We've spent sixty years ramping up a suburban living arrangement that has suddenly entered a state of failure, and all its accessories and furnishings are failing in concert. The far-flung McHouse tracts are becoming both useless and worthless in the face of gasoline prices that will never be cheap again. The strip malls and office "parks" are following the residential real estate off a cliff. The retail tenants of all those places are hemorrhaging customers who have maxed out every last credit card. The lack of business is now leading to substantial layoffs. The airline industry is dying and will probably cease to exist in its familiar form in 24 months. The trucking industry is dying, threatening the entire just-in-time distribution system of things that even people with little money to spend still need, like food.

These conditions will now get a lot worse, no matter whether the banks continue to conceal their problems. All of it leads to an inflection point that coincides with the November election. By then, I expect that quite a few banks will be toast, job layoffs will rise spectacularly, foreclosures and bankruptcies will be raging across the land, and homeowners north of the magnolia belt will be shattered by the cost of staying warm this winter.

All this hardship and woe will be blamed on the Republican party. It may actually kill off the party. Political parties do go out-of-business in American history, and this one deserves to die -- with its aggressive no-nothingism, its avaricious, punitive religious extremism (the religious part often being fake), its stunning inattention to financial malfeasance in areas under its direct supervision, and its gross incompetent mismanagement of the nation's strategic interests.

That said, I will feel a little sorry for Mr. Obama if he gets to the White House. He'll have to find a gentle way to tell the truth to the people who elected him, people who will be suffering mightily, and who will be very sore about their losses. He'll have to tell them that the previous "release" of the American Dream software is obsolete, and the new version will require a whole lot more of them in the way of earnest effort, delayed gratification, and revised expectations.